Previous posts on industrial inkjet, discussed what is defined within the industrial bucket and looked at some of the requirements for industrial inkjet RIPS such as providing specialized ink control for non-optimized substrates in aggressive production environments, large file handling and print engine compatibility. We also looked at questions to ask about the RIP when evaluating solutions.
The third post in the series starts the drill down into independent inkjet RIP providers. Industrial inkjet RIP vendors offer the robust RIP features described in previous articles, but each focuses on different characteristics of custom industrial print system requirements. We begin our coverage with Global Inkjet Systems (GIS) headquartered in Cambridge, England. The Global in their name is not overstated; the company has customers in North America, Europe, India, China, Japan, South Korea and Australia plus their components incorporated into OEM print solutions are sold and supported worldwide.
GIS differentiates itself from other RIP vendors by offering a full suite of design and development services to OEMs, machine builders and system integrators. The GIS RIP is part of a complete drive electronics and ink system solution for a wide range of industrial inkjet printheads. GIS focuses on rugged industrial print environments operating 24/7, including graphical print applications such XY scanning, single pass and direct-to-shape printers, as well as fluid deposition applications such as 3D additive manufacturing, functional materials and coatings.
We spoke to Neil Cook, Head of Marketing for GIS about how these types of industrial partnerships are changing the industry. He said, “Industrial partnerships are pivotal to achieving the changes necessary for digital printing to become mainstream within the printing industry and this is good news for the end users. Printing machine manufacturers are looking to offer more to their customers, which cannot always be done with off-the-shelf products. We are seeing more machine builders engaging with us to see if the capability of their printing machines can be improved and additional functionality included.”
The potential to improve the print quality and the productivity of the printing machine benefits both the machine builder and the end user. Cook continues, “In most cases we are being asked to help improve print quality or to improve the system output. These conversations lead to new developments in screeners, RIPs and other image processing software, as well as developing functionality to achieve downstream management of print alignment with add-ons such as digital coatings.”
GIS also collaborates with printhead manufacturers to help accelerate the uptake of their new printheads and to help support their existing range of printheads where OEMs are seeking increased reliability or capability within the printhead drive electronics.
An Exercise in Integration
GIS’s products are fully integrated from software through to electronics. This approach offers end-to-end solutions and also allows customers to customize software components and create their own unique systems and intellectual property.
Finding the right industrial strength RIP can help integrators and their customers avoid downtime, print defects and ease the path to customized development. Each of the suppliers we will discuss in this series are helping to build a stronger industrial inkjet ecosystem by meeting the demand to handle large files and variable data path requirements while adding their own “special sauce” to serve customers. Global Inkjet Systems differentiates themselves by moving collaboration way upstream and providing support throughout the integration supply chain.
“We believe in a collaborative partnership approach with our customers. This, combined with our industry-leading expertise, offers our customers rapid development of high-performance systems to print faster, smarter and better,” offers Cook. “This integrated approach with a single source of data path management reduces our customers’ time to market. We pride ourselves on our world class customer support and having expert knowledge of the whole digital printing eco-system.”